Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this a medieval Scottish surname. It originates from an old Galloway surname MacNeachtain, which owing to dialectual processes in Ulster became MacReachtain (the interchange of the initial 'n' and 'r' is characteristic of Ulster. The name now exists as MacCrackan, MacCracken, MacCrachen and MacCraken - and the sort forms commencing Mc, are owing to further dialectual transpositions. The personal name Naughton means the god of water and sea in Gaelic mythology, an some of the clan migrated from Scotland to Antrim, Northern Ireland in the 14th century.The coat of arms most associated with this sept has the blazon of a black shield, chared with an escutcheon chequy in silver and blue, between three lion's heads erased of the second. The crest is a lion's head, with the motto: Omnia fortunae committo translating as "I commit all things to fortune". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Donald MacNachtane, the dean of Dunkeld, and dated 1431, in the Papal Registers of Great Britian and Ireland, during the reign of King James 1st of Scotland, 1406 - 1437. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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